After an intensive beta check, The Division 2 has lastly launched. All variations can be found for testing and the general impression is that, much like its first title, Ubisoft Massive has handed in a profitable multi-platform venture – completed all on all consoles, with PC as soon as once more delivering an enormous suite of choices.
It’s been three years because the authentic launch of The Division; know-how has advanced with the sequel, and Massive nonetheless delivers a pleasantly clear and crisp look to the sport, with Xbox One X working at native 4K – 3840×2160 – a big achievement for this superior engine. Dynamic decision scaling is a function of the Snowdrop engine and was deployed within the first recreation, however regardless of quite a lot of pattern assessments, all the pieces we checked out right here presents at a full extremely HD pixel depend. Perhaps it kicks in throughout heavier scenes we have not witnessed but, however to this point, all the pieces successfully factors to a local 4K launch.
As you would possibly count on, PlayStation 4 Pro would not fairly match the X, with the developer deploying each DRS and temporal anti-aliasing in delivering its 4K output mode. Our pattern vary witnessed 3456×1944 on the top-end, dropping to a recorded minimal of 2458×1382. A reconstruction approach seems to mix in visible information from earlier frames, so with static scenes specifically, Pro seems remarkably much like its X counterpart.
In movement, the impact is not all the time profitable, but it surely’s clear the approach has extra advantages than drawbacks, with the TAA working properly in addressing most aliasing points. We say most, as a result of just about any flavour of TAA has a side-effect and The Division 2 is not any exception: it is arduous to miss the banding on actions on this case – particularly throughout your gun as you flip from a light-weight space to darkish, or any movement throughout high quality detailing like fences. You’ll discover it sometimes, however on stability it is a constructive affect on the ultimate picture.
Addressing the bottom consoles is lots simpler. The normal PS4 runs flat-out at 1920×1080 natively with no noticeable drops beneath. It’s the vanilla Xbox One that is the extra challenged of the 2, as you would possibly count on, but it surely holds its personal at 1080p fairly properly, however much like the primary Division, dynamic decision scaling is in place. For instance, the opening tutorial firefight, with a number of fireplace and smoke, brings decision right down to 1664×936 in keeping with certainly one of our samples – so simply above 900p. That’s the worst on file discovered to this point, however on common the pixel depend is greater and the presentation holds up.
The Snowdrop engine impressed us within the authentic Division, and it continues to shine in sure respects with the sequel. That mentioned, the presentation does have some polish points – features we imagine may be resolved in future patch updates. Addressing the positives first, the reflections are stunning from just about the primary body of precise gameplay. You get a convincing use of screen-space reflections and cube-mapping – or in different phrases, a mix of real-time processing of a scene, and offline rendered textures. In puddles, it displays all enemies and objects inside a digicam’s view, and it does so on all consoles. Sadly reflections do not embody alpha transparencies, like explosions, however any gentle sources or geometry are lined within the mirror picture.
It’s put there, entrance and centre within the mission exterior the White House. In some ways that is Massive exhibiting off its new Snowdrop function set in a contained area, together with the brand new tall grass, which sways across the participant as you stroll by way of dense patches. Water rendering can be standout for the sequel, with ripples realistically forming round your physique as you wade by way of a fountain, with gunfire additionally interacting realistically with the floor. This is not only a one-off included for impact: water our bodies are strewn throughout each space – proper right down to the mossy puddles on the streets exterior. Every console will get these upgrades, even the bottom Xbox One – though there’s a drop in decision on each base machines.
Quite a bit is inherited from the unique recreation too. A crisp, clear volumetric impact is used for mist and smoke, much less notably than the primary recreation with its snowed over New York, however nonetheless, it is a device within the field for later ranges. A have a look at the PC model settings places into perspective what number of options are on the staff’s fingertips. These are all parameters that may change per platform, and it is a respectable exhibiting. In my testing, the standard of volumetrics on console is like-for-like, and you will not discover any main drop-off for the bottom machines – but it surely does lag behind PC. It’s the identical scenario with the god ray – or crepuscular ray – impact from daylight, although all consoles get subsurface scattering for pores and skin. Nips and tucks throughout programs are rigorously managed, and the sense is of a great-looking expertise on all programs.
But then there are the polish points. Texture and object pop-in are an even bigger distraction than I might anticipated – one thing I noticed within the beta and hoped could be mounted by now. It’s all of the extra evident, as a result of The Division 2’s world design ought to be the star of the present. The density of element strewn throughout the environments is spectacular, and opens up some nice fight choices. Add within the altering time of day and variable climate, and clearly, there’s numerous selection right here. But the frequency that you simply see low-res textures seem on billboards and posters is simply too excessive proper now. It takes too lengthy for the right, high-res asset to load in, and it breaks the phantasm Massive’s making an attempt to prop up. This pop-in impacts each console, and on PS4 Pro, I even tried to mitigate the difficulty by offloading the sport onto exterior storage – to no actual success. Whatever modifications should be made have to return from the developer itself. After all, the PC model would not have the problem to the identical extent, though doubtless helped alongside by operating straight from an SSD, which is not a regular choice on the consoles.
Discrepancies in texture pop-in apart, all variations of the sport are very shut certainly asset-wise. This truly raises a curious level once you have a look at set up sizes although. Bizarrely, the PC and Xbox One variations take up a 43GB set up, however the PS4 and Pro editions take a whopping 89GB of area on the arduous drive. We know the sport calls for a 50GB day one patch, but it surely seems Xbox units combine this into the principle set up after downloading – whereas PlayStation programs stack it on prime of the bottom 43GB set up. Either means, it is unusual, and proper now leaves a a lot bigger HDD footprint on PS4 programs.
The last nitpick is gameplay-based. The AI is supposed to be extra assorted for the sequel, however in my expertise, it wants some work. Enemy AI generally makes erratic, and simply plain goofy selections proper in entrance of you – once more breaking the sense of realism. During my testing in the principle base space, you’ll be able to catch NPCs floating about, strolling then capturing as much as the sky as they scale staircases. It’s very unusual, and on prime of the streaming points it makes the entire affair really feel a little bit tough across the edges. After all this time ready for the sequel, I did count on a little bit extra polish this time – however in equity, it is nothing that may’t be patched.
So, decision aside, simply how shut is The Division 2 throughout all programs? The most fascinating side-by-side is between the extremes: base Xbox One and the X mannequin. Really this provides us the very best have a look at the spectrum of what is attainable on consoles, however actually, it is the 4K vs 1080p comparability that stands proud most clearly. According to Xbox Wire, X has a couple of enhancements excessive, together with 8K textures for skies however basic texture work is on par as soon as it hundreds in. At the very least, mapping for skyboxes and clouds ought to present a delicate improve.
Looking elsewhere you even have enhancements to total object draw distance – although once more it is delicate. There’s a distinction in reflection high quality between the 2 as properly, and overlooking the climate modifications, there’s an improve within the decision of the reflection mapping. Shadow decision is similar – usually it is the setting that takes a lion’s share of processing energy, but it surely’s a disgrace there is not any approach to divide the consoles right here. The identical goes for PS4 and Pro; the stair-stepping and dithering on real-time shadows on partitions, and in addition the ambient occlusion impact, are indistinguishable between platforms. It’s not a terrific look total, and above all else, I want X or Pro not less than might have gotten a a lot better setting.
The PS4 and Pro comparability present a lot the identical factor; the general high quality of terrain and textures and results stands in place, and it is the decision that is scaling, and benefiting from the additional GPU headroom. Numerous the very best upgrades are after all discovered on PC. Firstly, sure, the feel streaming problem is basically minimised or eliminated, and equally, ambient occlusion at max settings offers us far much less dithering on the vegetation forward. Even shadow maps from vary are greater high quality too, although the advance is just not radical. The volumetric lighting- notably on gentle shafts – additionally runs at the next decision total. One main side right here that consoles clearly miss out on is the capability for 60fps gameplay – and leaping to PC operating at 1080p reveals that the expertise is vastly improved at greater frame-rates. However, PC has its personal vary of stability and freezing points that may be irritating.
Just like the primary recreation, 30fps is the efficiency goal for the consoles and it is an virtually stable lock on most programs. Xbox One X is clearly getting a terrific cope with its native 4K, however efficiency smart it is no slouch both – 30fps locked in each place I’ve examined. Given it is not often participating dynamic res to this point (if in any respect), it does counsel it isn’t being pushed past its limits right here. Next alongside is PS4 Pro, which noticed most of our play time with random allies. Performance-wise, the turnout once more is far the identical: 30fps with v-sync. Potentially there’s scope for screen-tearing, however we merely have not seen it to this point. It looks like wherever there’s any actual wrestle with effects-work on-screen, Pro drops its decision slightly than taking a frame-rate hit – to beneath 1944p – which is the choice.
PS4 once more exhibits we’re taking a look at one other 30fps line during. Its counterpart, the bottom Xbox One S, has been dealt a tough hand with multi-platform merchandise this yr, however The Division 2 holds up properly sufficient. It’s not as stable because the PlayStation 4 model, and there’s the sense that efficiency calls for exceed the dynamic res window generally. You’ll spot the display tearing in half at factors, primarily within the face of lengthy roads full of smoke or poisonous haze results. It’s nothing to egregious, however an indication that this technique feels the stress when an excessive amount of firepower will get unloaded in a single spot.
That’s the overall turnout then. The Division 2’s extra of an iteration than an evolutionary leap over the primary recreation – one thing I anticipated getting into, however I did discover myself wanting a extra radical overhaul, even on PC. For now, the improved vegetation, water and high quality reflections are good touches not less than. And, mixed with the volumetric lighting that made the primary recreation a marvel to have a look at, it is handsome bundle total. The solely actual draw back proper now’s the weird AI, and pop-in on textures on console. If you look previous that, there’s some highlights in visible course, and the hook of its four-man squad capturing and looting is as robust as ever.